Sergio Perez blamed GPS issues for traffic problems during FP2 and suggested he would be going into the race “blind”.
FP1 was riddled with issues as a problem with the track’s GPS meant the red flag was shown as teams were unable to warn the drivers of oncoming traffic or cars behind.
The problems were fixed for FP2 but there may have been some gremlins left over with a few instances of heavy traffic build up in certain areas.
Perez was the unlucky victim in such a situation as, following two purple sectors, he was forced to abandon his flying lap when he almost collided with Zhou Guanyu and Fernando Alonso.
With rain soon descending onto the Albert Park track, that transpired to be Perez’s only chance to set a quick lap meaning he ended the session P7 but crucially missing important data for the race.
Perez said the session had been “a mess” and they would have a lot of ground to make up in FP3.
“It was a bit mental,” he told Formula1.com. “I think especially going into FP2, it felt like a lot of people still had issues with their GPS data. So it was just a mess. I couldn’t get up a lap in.
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“We made some changes which seemed to be working well into sector one, sector two, but not much to say really, I think tomorrow there’s plenty to do. Too much to do in FP3 [alone] so I think we’re going to be going a bit blind into the race, which should be interesting.”
Perez is searching for back-to-back wins for the first time in his career but said he would need to wait until Saturday’s running was over before he could judge how quick he could be come race day.
“I think tomorrow is really where we’re going to see where we’re at,” the 33-year-old said. “I felt comfortable in sector one sector two, with the changes we made from FP1 to FP2. I never got a read in the final sector with the traffic and people still missing the GPS.
“I was surprised by the damp. I could feel the white lines, the paint was really bad. So hopefully we don’t get to see any damp conditions because racing can be quite dangerous. The grip is low in damp conditions. I think in dry conditions, it’s not too bad.”